The inevitable crocodile attack on a surfing tourist came as no surprise to some Tamarindo residents because they have been pointing out the danger for months.
A news story three months ago predicted the attack on an Arizona man that took place Friday in the Pacific beach town. A writer based the article “Tamarindo crocs seem to be ticking time bombs” on resident reports about the proximity of the marine predators to the town’s beaches.
The article quoted Tamarindo businessman Jeff Ruzicka outlining the danger. Other residents posted warnings on Facebook pages.
“I was on the beach while my kids were out surfing in Tamarindo,” he said in an email Friday. “I watched as the poor victim crawled out of the water and collapsed on the shore.”
Hospital reports say that the man’s right leg was so mangled that surgeons had to amputate it.
Tamarindo residents are considering posting signs warning against feeding the reptiles. Some come close to hand-feeding the
animals. And this may be why they remain in the waters around the community.
The attack Friday is not the first by a crocodile on a human, but it is believed to be the most serious. Other creatures have not been so lucky. Some pets are believed to have been consumed by the crocs.
Regional officials do have some problems in taking action. The crocodiles are protected strongly by Costa Rican wildlife laws. So shooting them would not be permitted.
And some residents, unlike Ruzicka, are not anxious to make the problem public for fear of reducing tourist numbers.